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Surface Phone Speculation Spurred By New Phone APIs In Windows (arstechnica.com) 77

Microsoft has been rumored to be working on a "Surface Phone" for years now, with little concrete evidence that such a device actually exists. "But the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview has given new fuel for the speculative fire, it has a set of new APIs for cellular phones," reports Ars Technica. From the report: Windows has had integrated support for cell modems since Windows 8, but this has been restricted to supporting data connections. Telephony -- dialing numbers, placing calls -- has always required either Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile. This has made the full Windows 10 unsuitable for a phone. That may be changing. Windows 10 build 17650 -- a preview of Redstone 5, the next Windows update after the delayed April update -- includes some telephony APIs. The new APIs cover support for a range of typical phone features: dialing numbers and contacts, blocking withheld numbers, support for Bluetooth headsets and spearphone mode, and so on and so forth. There also looks to be some kind of video-calling support, suggesting support for 3G or LTE video calling.
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Surface Phone Speculation Spurred By New Phone APIs In Windows

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  • Interesting timing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ArhcAngel ( 247594 )
    Normally I would just laugh and make a snarky comment about the 200 or so attempts Microsoft has tried to get into the mobile phone market but given Google's headlong march into Microsoft's Embrace, Extend, Extinguish territory there are a growing number of people looking for alternatives. Of course this is Microsoft so we'll see if they can stay focused long enough to build an ecosystem.
    • A MS Phone is like a modern technological Phoenix.
      It burns down to ashes every 2 years, and then is resuscitated in a new form of the same shit which doesn't work.
      This is quite a costly play for MS, so on the long run, they will run out of money.

      • Except for the lack of vertical apps and such, the actual phone as a communications platform was superior to IPhone and Android.
        • Was it?

          I had a WindowsPhone7 and the live tiles were interesting; but ultimately made the phone harder to use. Either I couldn't get the tile to display something useful or it was hard to find apps because the tile looked too different when it updated.

          I also remember getting copy/paste in an update(WindowsPhone 7.2?).

          The browser not being WebKit based meant you had completely different issues from Android and iPhone on the web... Technically it was fairly standards compliant; but was a pain in the
  • There. My topic line shoul cut back, at least a little, on all the forthcoming Windows Phone quips in this discussion.

  • It might be cool if they could work cell phone functionality into the OS so it could make like it was a cell phone and connect using VoIP. Of course even if they did it would be so insecure that it would amount to getting your phone hacked.

  • everything is data...

    To be able to say that you support full LTE or even have a full bluetooth stack you need to support call features...

    The "phone" companies are a major channel that microsoft would dearly like to be selling their windows 10 devices this is simply about sales...

    if you look at a apple device they have imessage on the desktop and Windows 10 has Skype neither are great revenue providers for telecommunications companies nor do they provide loyalty to them...

    John

  • Google Home and Alexa already have phone calling. Cortana started on and is still primarily used on the desktop. If Microsoft were to enable Cortana and Windows in general to make free calls over the internet without additional software, that would be a big plus.
    • Re:For Cortana? (Score:5, Informative)

      by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @02:27AM (#56492715) Homepage

      If M$ were to drop the Windows anal probe 10 and forced software installs, that might help but I think the trust is gone and people will simply not buy any consumer level software from M$ they do not have to for existing compatibility. Games are keeping them afloat in the consumer market but that market hold is diminishing. They had better start being really, really nice to their customer base, otherwise there will be no recovery. I doubt it though, they are still driven by corporate arrogance and wont change until it is too late.

      • What makes you think any of that? I have news for you, in the consumer space people don't give a crap. They don't give a crap about spying, they don't give a crap about updates, bling, features, they just don't give a crap what OS their computers run.

        Consumers love the status quo. The whole Windows 10 spying thing came in long after the completely lackluster interest in the upgrade. Windows OS level upgrades have been driven by computer sales since the days where Windows stopped shipping on floppy disks.

        The

      • While I generally agree with your premises, and that consumer "trust" in MS is low, I think you are giving the general populace FAR too much credit.

        Litmus Test / Proof: Look at the number of people who have actually stopped using FecesBook after the scandal. Only 10%? [businessinsider.com]

        People are generally apathetic towards computers. They have become complacent. They don't know, and don't care, about software, hardware, privacy, security. e.g. Even in 2018 you STILL read about some dumb-asses [vice.com] that stores their passwords i

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        I azure you, Microsoft is not going anywhere.

        MacBook: $1300/1600
        MacBook Air: $1000/1200
        MacBook Pro: $1300/1500/1800

        The sub-$1000 laptop market? Windows, Windows, Windows... and 2% Chromebook/Linux. They got 98% of Steam users. Probably 98% of the corporate market too, since Apple doesn't give a shit about anything like AD. Two more years and Windows 7 is out of support, then what? YotLD now that's a good laugh, it's exactly where it was 10 years ago. Unless Apple or Google makes a real move for the mainstre

        • You're right, this has always been the way and many people (particularly on sites like this) seem to struggle with the concept that users do not care about the operating system. People will switch from Windows if their applications stop running on it or if they move to applications only available on other platforms.
  • Despite years and billions wasted, Windows Phone remains possibly the greatest debacle in the history of capitalism. It single-handedly ruined the world's leading mobile phone maker. Nothing else - Exxon Valdez, New Coke, Edsel, Virtual Boy, Note 7 - nothing caused a destruction of wealth and market share as massive as what Nokia suffered during the suicidal Elop experiment.

    But nooo, let's try again, surely this time it will sell better!

  • Count me in! Thatâ(TM)s easily worth $800 and all of my privacy.
  • This is why they killed the consumer phone market. They realized they had zero chance against Android and Iphone in the consumer space and no one in corporate america was buying either. However, we all would want an LTE enabled Windows device that can run all the apps in a decent form factor.

    Now, does it play Minecraft?
  • Rumours have been that it's not going to be a surface phone as such, the internal name is the andromeda device and there is some coverage of it. Basically, MS have been licking their wounds and realised that they didn't win in the 'smartphone' space a few years ago. This new device, they will refuse to call it a smartphone, because they see it as something different. Don't know if it's partially to save face or whatever, but the current mantra at MS is to create new categories.

    Another important thing to con

    • Another important thing to consider is PWA's (progressive web apps) which are probably the only sensible attempt at moving toward platform agnostic apps

      Progressive web apps are not platform agnostic apps. They are a way of (in essence) remote controlling an app running on a server. Yes, the GUI is platform agnostic and local, but you don't have the control you would if it was really running on your computer (the ability to run it offline, keep version X without upgrading, run it if the Big Company decides

      • by sd4f ( 1891894 )
        But if they (currently) run in a browser, wouldn't that mean that you generally see the same code across all devices, as long as they adhere to standards? They way I've been reading about them is that they are platform agnostic, unless the coverage I've read is technically wrong.
  • As if any modern OS would not support API for telephony?

    The days of disconnected devices and apps are pretty much over. Regardless of it's form factor or size these days you expect devices to have capabilities to initiate data connections, make calls, send text messages. I think this is an obvious evolution rather than an indication of an imminent product release.

  • A third ecosystem is needed and a Surface phone that can easily dock into a large screen, keyboard and mouse setup could be enough to cover most people s computing needs.

    Add OneDrive for data storage, Office 365 and all you need is a phone that can dock in a monitor or tv to work or be entertained or dock in a car for navigation etc.

    Convergence like that finally makes sense.

    • MS stand a chance of getting convergence to work if:

      - They make Outlook/Word/Excel/Powerpoint work seamlessly in a browser. Right now it's no where near.
      - They make OneDrive seamless too - on Windows it's "not bad", but it feels to me like it needs a bit more love. On a Mac it's utterly terrible. IMHO, making it work seamlessly on a Mac makes O365 a pretty compelling option for Mac users on a corporate network
      - They find some way to make all this work on a phone. So far the UI has been terrible, or the spee

  • How does 3G / LTE work in laptops now? Is that a device and it's managed through TAPI?

    I know laptops with SIM card slots, and the new surface pro also has LTE, how is this managed otherwise? Is this a new centralised API for this for device manufacturers to integrate with and build a modern interface to handle this requirement? Are dial profiles per user? So, how does Direct Access work in those situations?

  • Please. I've had to put up with WinCE - well named, since "wince" is what you did trying to program those things, plus the fact that MS regularly fucked you because the next release was never even close to being compatible with the previous...
    Software updates? Fuck you - change your hardware if you want that.

    As for the Nokia-era "Windows" phones, the Nokia hardware was typically OK, (especially the cameras, and at least you could replace the battery) but the interface....awful. Just gouge-your-own-eyes-o

I've got a bad feeling about this.

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